"Put Your Hands Together"Fred Hammond & Natalie Wilson
Like many film soundtracks released these days, The Gospel's tie-in album from Verity Records features a number of songs and alternate versions that do not appear in the film. While these tracks ("Change Is Gonna Come," "I Need You to Survive," "He Reigns," and "Put Your Hands Together") are worthwhile in their own right, it's a bit disappointing to hear their inclusion over some of the defining musical moments in the film, such as "Peace Like a River" performed by Cynthia Simons or, most notably, Tamyra Gray's "Seasons Change," which is the film's soaring showstopper (and a potential Oscar contender if campaigned properly--heads up, Sony Pictures awards team)--and yet nowhere to be found on the disc. Gray, who is more or less the key musical voice in the film, is only represented here once, with "Now Behold the Lamb"; her on-screen version of "Put Your Hands Together" with Greg Kirkland (Boris Kodjoe's stand-in voice) is supplanted by the one offered here by Fred Hammond and Natalie Wilson. Kirkland is also shortchanged somewhat, as he also is only represented a single time with "You Are Good," but at least that's his character's most prominent number. His early-in-film R&B number, "Let Me Undress You" (written and produced by Daron Jones of 112) is also absent, but its exclusion is understandable (though still a little disappointing) considering it's hardly of a piece with the inspirational theme of the album--and, indeed, The Gospel soundtrack is a solid collection of contemporary gospel selections and an uplifting listen; that a few of the tracks (1, 3, and 12) are live recordings enhances the rejoicing spirit. It's just that the disc is not the ideal commemoration of the film's musical experience--which is one of the film's strongest virtues.